Caja Fire Update Aug. 27, 2020: 85% Contained

Start date: Aug. 23, 2020 Cause: Lightning Size: 158 acres

Location: Colorado Peak on the Caja del Rio Plateau, the Española Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF)

Containment: 85%

Fuels and fire behavior:  Fire behavior today is minimal with some creeping and smoldering.

Strategy: As part of the full suppression strategy for the Caja Fire, firefighters used natural and manmade barriers, including the two-track road, to secure its perimeter.  Crews today continue to secure the edges and mop up to make sure the containment lines remain secure.   

Resources: Approximately 12 firefighters are on scene, including two engines. The water tender was released today at noon.  In addition to the firefighters, three resource advisors are on scene to help minimize the Caja Fire’s impact on cultural resources in the area.

Weather: Hot and dry conditions in the morning will yield to showers, thunderstorms and shifting winds this afternoon when a cold front moves into the area. Near-record temperatures will cool over the weekend and into next week.

Values at risk: There are no immediate values at risk, although natural and cultural resources and a powerline are in proximity.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the first priority. Firefighters are conducting operations under protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Members of the public should stay away from fire operations and staging areas.  Drones pose a serious risk to firefighting and can cause air operations to cease. The public is reminded that “If you fly, we can’t!”

The cold front should help clear some of the smoke from the Caja Fire, Medio Fire and multiple fires burning in adjacent states. Smoke may be visible from Santa Fe to Los Alamos and along the I-25 corridor and the 599 Bypass. An interactive smoke map at https://fire.airnow.gov/ allows you to zoom into the Santa Fe area to see the latest smoke information. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) website at https://nmtracking.org/fire.

Fire updates will be posted on the SFNF website, New Mexico Fire Information website and on the Santa Fe National Forest Facebook page and Twitter @SantafeNF.

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